Jon Stewart waded into the civil war currently engulfing the Republican Party that is pitting members of the political establishment against the Tea Party.
On Tuesday’s edition of “The Daily Show,” Stewart noted that many enlistees in the GOP’s old guard are responsible for unleashing a right-wing agenda that culminated in the shutdown of the federal government this month and brought the country to the brink of default.
“The party wanted to absorb the Tea Party energy, to swallow and digest the Tea Party’s enthusiasm and passion, so long as the Tea Party promised not to burst through their chests and replicate,” Stewart said.
In particular, Stewart cited Karl Rove, the architect of former President George W. Bush’s successful White House bids, as helping to organize many of the forces that he now opposes. Rove has launched a super-PAC that he says will try to field more mainstream candidates as a tonic for the kind of Tea Party figures that moderate voters have rejected in past elections.
“Karl Rove has no right to complain about all these radicals ruining his nice Republican party, because he’s the one who invited them,” Stewart said, noting that Bush’s 2004 re-election strategy was based on exploiting far right anger over same sex marriage and healthcare for illegal immigrants.
“The Daily Show” host also knocked Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) for chastising his colleagues for their role in shutting down the government. After all, Stewart noted that it was McCain who plucked Tea Party favorite Sarah Palin from obscurity and made her a star after he anointed her his running mate during his 2008 bid for the presidency.
“You don’t get to complain, McCain, you don’t get to complain at all,” Stewart said. “Because if I remember correctly, no matter how cuckoo for coco puffs you think your wacko bird colleagues are, they don’t come anywhere close to your hatchling,”
“You opened Pandora’s box,” he added. “You were the guy who gave the Mogwai a post-midnight, all-you-can-eat buffet. You don’t get to complain that now the party’s overrun with Gremlins.”
The result of this brinksmanship is a 28 percent favorable rating of the Republican Party, which is the lowest score ever recorded for a political party by Gallup.
“Yes it turns out that when you shut down the government for two weeks in order to obtain nothing, people don’t like that,” Stewart said. “It hurts the Republican brand.”
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